Video by Lance Oppenheim and Samuel Fisch

Campus & Community

From lecture to comedy sketch

2 min read

Student comic group puts faculty and deans onstage for charity stand-up performance

Students see professors stand up in front of a class every day, but they don’t often see them do stand-up onstage. In spring, the Harvard College Stand Up Comic Society changed that with the first Harvard faculty comedy showcase.

Faculty members and deans wrote jokes and learned how to channel their classroom expertise into a stage performance. Students from the Stand Up Comic Society coached them, helping finesse their routines.

“This is eight members of faculty who are volunteering several things,” said one of the participants, Andrew Berry, a lecturer in organismic and evolutionary biology. “Their time, their effort — and their pride. Because this is inevitably going to be a case of humiliation — for a good cause.”

The inaugural Faculty Lounge raised more than $2,000 for area homeless shelters, and the student group has since made it an annual event.

Jonathan Walton delivers a comedy routine for charity.

Jonathan Walton, the former Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister of the Memorial Church, has the crowd rolling.

Photos by Samuel Fisch

Dean Katie O’Dair prepares.

Dean Katie O'Dair sits in an empty theater preparing for a charity comedy night.

“Eight members of faculty … are volunteering several things. Their time, their effort — and their pride.”

Andrew Berry
Andrew Berry on stage with mic.
Andrew Berry lands a punchline.
Chalkboard touting Faculty Lounge.
Faculty and deans huddle in support backstage.
The scholars turned comics bond backstage.